March launch confirmed for Hebridean lifeline ‘Isle Of Islay’

by | 26th February 2024 | Industry News, Ship & Boat International - News

Home News March launch confirmed for Hebridean lifeline ‘Isle Of Islay’

A rendering of 'Isle Of Islay': the 95m ferry will carry 450 passengers between Islay and Jura

Getting from A to B can be tough for the remote island communities of the Inner Hebrides, on Scotland’s west coast. However, life should be made easier with the delivery of the first of two new passenger ferries to operator Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) in October this year.

The first newbuild, Isle Of Islay, is currently nearing completion at Cemre Shipyard in Turkey, with an updated launch date of 16 March. CMAL says: “The launch will see the vessel move from the slipway into the water, where work will continue onboard.

“In line with the shipyard build programme, the vessel will remain on the slipway until March, where installation of pipework, equipment, machinery, electrical works and outfitting will be progressed. Subsequently, underwater hull coatings will be applied, and propulsors installed before launching.”

Isle Of Islay will serve a route between Islay and Jura, providing what Scottish minister for transport Fiona Hyslop calls “a more resilient and modern ferry service” for the islanders. The ferry will feature an overall length of 94.8m, a moulded breadth of 18.7m and a maximum draught of 4m, and has been designed to displace 4,000tonnes – as has its forthcoming sister, Loch Indaal, slated for delivery in 2025.

Each ferry will have the capacity for up to 450 passengers and 100 cars, or 14 commercial vehicles, spread across two mezzanine car decks. “This will provide a combined 40% increase in vehicle and freight capacity on the Islay routes and will improve the overall resilience of the wider fleet,” CMAL states. The ferry concept was developed by German design consultancy naValue, with LMG Marin and Cemre Shipyard providing the ship’s detailed design.

Isle Of Islay will incorporate a hybrid diesel-electric powertrain, including a 1MWh battery pack supplied by Leclanché and four Wärtsilä 6L20 gensets, rated 1,600kW apiece. This combination will enable a service speed of 16.5knots. The vessel will also be fitted with twin Voith Schneider eVSP stern propulsors and two bow thrusters.

Cemre Shipyard will build a further two ferries for CMAL’s service between Skye, North Harris and Uist, following an order placed by the operator last year.


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